Introducing: Refs

In just over two weeks, NYC duo known as Refs have received 150,411 plays on their debut single Pain Goes Away. This figure alone is, in my opinion, enough reason to divert your attention towards their music. Although once there, the sound will speak for itself as it will steer you further into their mysterious land of alluring synths and super smooth vox.


Refs may be the new kids on the block, but they waste no time showing they mean business with the soulful Pain Goes Away.

This track, produced by one half of Refs, Zachary Andrew (Black Light Dinner Party, High Highs), compiles electronic elements blended with modern R&B, with the sensual vocals provided by the other half, Richard Saunders. Brooklyn natives quietly released this track, which then led to an influx of circulation for the song (it seems so effortless but they definitely deserve the recognition they’re receiving).

Refs take flight into many different styles however the electronic and soul textures are reminiscent of the latest Hottest 100 winner, Nick Murphy aka Chet Faker. It’s the kind of music where the tempo isn’t quite fast enough to crazily dance along to at a club. Instead, it focuses on the soul driven voice as the beats accompanying make you feel cool and, well, much like the sunglasses emoji; completely satisfied and not caring about anything else. The echoing of the lyrics along with the harmonies reinforces this idea- that this music makes you feel cool, even if it’s just for the duration of the song, it’s worth it.

You will eventually have to step back into reality though after listening to the song a few times (or maybe after having it on repeat for 30 minutes). Just a personal realisation that I thought I’d share. When I can have a song on repeat for that long it usually means that I’m either not listening to it at all as I’m so absorbed in my own thoughts, or the song has spoken out to me enough to grab my attention, trigger myself to let go of my thoughts as I transcend into the world that the song is creating. The song title is creepily accurate as although I’m not in pain, my thoughts drifted away while listening to the electronic beats and soothing voice.

Pain Goes Away is an impressively produced song for their first release, which only excites me for what else the duo has in store. I’d keep watch on these guys if I were you. For now though I’m completely satisfied with listening to this song on repeat, they’ve executed it so brilliantly that I’d forgotten that they’d only just formed. They have taken their individual experiences and used it to their advantage.



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